In June 2011, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) carried out a survey of community conservation groups in Norfolk, on behalf of the Biodiversity Partnership. The results of the survey revealed that there are at least 57 community environmental groups working in the county, involving more than 1,300 volunteers on some 200 different sites. Together, these groups make a tremendously important contribution to the conservation and management of Norfolk’s biodiversity.
We have collated the survey information into an online directory, so that you can find out more about the activities and volunteering opportunities in your area. You can find the groups nearest to you by searching the table below where we will provide you with a description of each project, together with contact details in case you’d like to get in touch. They’ll be pleased to hear from you - especially if you are offering your help (even if it’s just for a few hours).
If you are already involved with a local conservation group, you may want to find out more about the activities of other groups and learn from their experiences. For example, if you are planning to restore a pond, you can search the online directory by “activity type” to find other groups that are already involved in pond restoration, and seek advice on issues such as spoil disposal, the selection of contractors, the best time to carry out activities, etc,
Finally, we hope the directory demonstrates the commitment that volunteers in communities across Norfolk are making to conserve biodiversity and improve the local environment. As the pressures on biodiversity continue to mount, and as the resources available from both public and charitable bodies diminish, voluntary action by concerned individuals in the community will become ever more important. Conservation volunteering is also a great way to spend your spare time, keep fit and enjoy Norfolk’s natural areas.
If you notice an error in the directory, would like to update your entry, or have a new group that you would like to have included on the database, we would love to hear from you! Download this form and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Acle Lands Trust||website link||We rescued a carr woodland from destruction, and created public access with boardwalks, bridges, pathways. We planted a new wood with 2.500 native trees with public access. We restored Constable Doles S.S.S.I. back into a cattle grazed marsh with the support of Natural England. Our aims are to create public access where possible and provide for biodiversity in Acle.||Broadland|
|Aylsham Wildlife Society||website link||The Society meets once a month for a range of talks, mostly on Norfolk wildlife topics. We also have several field excursions every year. On Abel Heath our aims are to record flora & fauna through the seasons as contribution to the NWT and NBIS and to contribute to the National Trust's management of the Heath||Broadland|
|Beeston Common Management Group||website link||We aim to work with Natural England in protecting and restoring the site, particularly hands on management of sensitive areas and to educate the general public to the biodiversity on their doorstep through walks, talks and the website and encourage appreciation of the site||North Norfolk|
|Bergh Apton Conservation Trust||website link||Conservation group set up in 1994 to conserve the biodiversity, natural environment and wildlife of Bergh Apton and surrounding area.||South Norfolk|
|Boughton Fen Committee||website link||We are a sub-committee of the village parish council, and involve local volunteers and other interested parties in conjunction with advice from Natural England to restore this habitat to a favourable condition. We hope to continue with this important work to retain this valuable fen site for generations to come.||King's Lynn & West Norfolk|
|Bowthorpe Heritage Group||The aim of our group is to provide a beautiful, relaxing space for people to enjoy. It is also a chance for people to meet with others for a chat & hopefully volunteer.||Norwich|
|Breckland Flora Group||
Recording rare flora in the Brecks.
|Bure Valley Conservation Group||website link||
To promote practical conservation through volunteers for the benefit of the public. To promote the vision of a “Living Landscape” as defined by The Wildlife Trusts and to complement the work of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust in the Bure Valley. To increase awareness of wildlife amongst the local community. To improve the health and well-being of local people. To develop the volunteers knowledge of the principles and practice of conservation. To conserve and encourage wildlife.
|Broadland & Great Yarmouth|
|Buxton Heath Wildlife Group||website link||Our group visits Buxton heath most Saturdays throughout the year. Winter sees us mostly doing scrub clearance to protect the rare heathland and wetland wildlife found on the site, with the occasional other task such as fence maintenance or pond digging. During the summer we concentrate on surveying the wildlife on the reserve.||Broadland|
|Casitor St Edmund Parish Council||website link||The Parish Council has recently received a Big Lottery grant to improve the village Raking pit for the benefit and enjoyment of local people.||South Norfolk|
|Diss Community Woodland Project at Quaker Wood||website link||The establishment and development of a community woodland nature reserve.||South Norfolk|
|Friends of Boyland Common||Our group encompasses members of two adjacent parishes. Our aim is to regenerate a once beautiful Common to its former glory. We hope to reverse the effects of years of neglect, increasing the biodiversity of both flora and fauna, by putting into operation a management plan that will secure the future of our Common as an asset that can be enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike||South Norfolk|
|Friends of Earlham Cemetery||website link||
To protect, conserve and enhance Earlham Cemetery for wildlife and as a place of freedom, recreation and enjoyment for the long-term benefit of all sections of the local community and other visitors.
|Friends of Eaton Park||website link||To enhance and protect Eaton Park, improve amenities and improve biodiversity.||Norwich|
|Friends of Horsey Seals||website link||
To protect the Grey seals at Horsey.
|Friends of Train Wood & Marriott's Way||website link||Norwich|
|Friends of the Rosary||website link||The group's aims are to promote the preservation, care & improvement of the Rosary Cemetery as a place of historic & natural interest & as a burial ground.||Norwich|
|Gaywood Valley Conservation Group||website link||Promote wildlife conservation by activities to improve areas, encourage community involvement, have walks, talks and visits.||King's Lynn & West Norfolk|
|Grapes Hill Community Garden Group||website link||Within the top 20% of most deprived areas in the country, there is very little green, open space locally with many residents in blocks of flats with no gardens with resulting isolation. The Project is bringing our community together and providing a beautiful, safe, open space for skill sharing and gardening on a fully accessible site with wheelchair access, raised planting beds, benches and seating, fruit trees and other food producing and bee attracting plants, a natural play area for children, and a water feature incorporating a rainwater collection. We have provided an open space in which local people can come together and relax or share skills within a safe and pleasant environment. We have a packed events programme every year - all free entrance and volunteering opportunities on Thursday and Sunday afternoons supervised by our part time gardener. Please see website for dates. All welcome, experience not essential||Norwich|
|Great Massignham Parish Council||website link||To improve the biodiversity and accessibility of the Biodiversity Area and other ponds in and around the village greens. Dr Mike Jackson is the lead and the President of the Biodiversity Group whose work is part funded by the Parish Council and by the Groups self funding activities||King's Lynn & West Norfolk|
|Harding's Pit Community Association||website link||Maintenance of a five acre urban wildlife site with public access. There is a monthly work party from March to November, and a litter-picking rota covering the entire year. We welcome any enquiries and offers of help by email or telephone. Dates of the work-parites are on the website. a free light lunch is available by letting us know in advance.||King's Lynn & West Norfolk|
|Haveringland Parish Church Action Group||website link||Leading work to improve the Church and its surroundings and organising services and events at the church.||Broadland|
|Hellesdon Parish Council||website link||The Parish Council has approved a project to create a Wildlife Community Area of approx. 4,500 sq.metres on a designated part of the Council Recreation Ground. The project aims to grow nature plant species that will re-create the original habitat of the site and attract birds, invertebrates, small mammals and hopefully reptiles to the area.||Broadland|
|If Not Now, When Charitable Trust||website link||This is a 4.9 acre site, half a wetland meadow and half a recently planted woodland with scrub, fruit trees and other interesting features such as an arch, pergola, insect hides and willow domes. The Trust was set up after the death of a resident to create a space for the use of the community. It is managed by a group of trustees where we have one work day per year and other work is completed by contractors.||North Norfolk|
|Kelling Heath Holiday Park||website link||The conservation and restoration of the River Glaven and its tributaries. Lowland heath restoration and creation.||North Norfolk|
|Kenninghall Lands Trust||website link||We are a local community group aiming to promote conservation, protection and improvement of landscape and natural environment within the village. It is hoped to buy or lease further land to increase our wooded area. This also includes an area of meadow. At present we have planted 2 woods, one Kenninghall Wood under the umbrella of the Parish Council and Hemp Meadow Wood, adjoining Kenninghall Wood and planted 3 years later by our Trust with funds mostly raised by the village. At present we manage about 15 acres. We have close ties with the local school and sponsor a yearly event for them. The woods also provide a base for yearly festivals such as a Wassail and Mid Summer Eve celebrations.||Breckland|
|Litcham Common Conservation Group||website link||We are a group of volunteers who carry out conservation tasks on Litcham Common Local Nature Reserve on the second Saturday of each month to support the work of Litcham Common Management Committee. Our primary task is to preserve the Common as an area of open heathland and a lot of the work we do involves clearing and burning trees and scrub. Some of our members also help care for four Dartmoor ponies that graze the nature reserve. New volunteers are always welcome; tools and protective gloves are provided.||Breckland|
|Little Ouse Headwaters Project||website link||
To link up and restore the fragments of fen habitat along the upper Little Ouse River for conservation and public access. (Upper Little Ouse valley on Norfolk/Suffolk border)
|Mid-Norfolk Conservation Volunteers||
Conservation work in mid-Norfolk
|Norfolk Conservation Corps||website link||The aim of the group is to assist in management of areas of conservation value. We also aim to keep traditional methods alive and learn about plants and animals found in certain habitats and about the habitats themselves.||Breckland, Broadland, North Norfolk, East Norfolk & South Norfolk|
|Norfolk Flora Group||Website link||An informal group of botanists with mixed experience, who actively record vascular plants throughout Norfolk for the national and local Atlas. They also hold identification workshops and field meetings specifically aimed at beginners and improvers. There is no better way of improving your botanical identification skills than going into the field with other keen botanists.||County-wide|
|North Walsham Conservation Group||website link||Conservation of built and
natural heritage along Norfolk Trails and an other site near North Walsham.
|Norwich Bat Group||website link|| Formed in 2007, the Norwich Bat Group works to help protect, conserve and raise the awareness of bats in Norwich and the surrounding area. Of the approximately 17 resident species of bat found in Britain, at least ten species have been recorded in and around Norwich. Promoting awareness of bats includes leading guided bat activity walks, training volunteers and participating in wildlife events. Norwich Bat Group is also involved in the National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project (NNPP).
Our work also includes finding new roosts, gathering new records of bats and monitoring known bat roosts and feeding areas.The group is affiliated to the Bat Conservation Trust, the national voice for bats in Britain. Whilst our focus in the past has been on Norwich, we hold events and operate across a much wider area, and we welcome anyone from across Norfolk with an interest in bats to join us.
|Norwich Environmental Weekenders (NEWS)||website link||We carry out practical conservation management work at established nature reserves in Norfolk. We work in conjunction with site managers to maintain and improve the habitats. We provide an opportunity for everyone to get involved with hands-on wildlife conservation work and to develop and widen their interest and experience.||County-wide & North Suffolk|
|Norwich Fringe Project||website link||
Established in 1991 the Norwich Fringe Project is a local authority funded countryside management partnership, working with volunteers and local communities to look after the countryside around Norwich. We provide a full Countryside Management Service, looking after a range of habitats and sites including woodlands, meadows, marshes, heathlands and ponds. Our work is very diverse and ranges from: providing advice on the management of sites and habitats, producing management plans and work plans, managing contractors and carrying out practical countryside management work ourselves – supported by our dedicated team of volunteers. We provide opportunities for regular volunteering that includes training and learning through countryside management related activities. We also offer business volunteer work days, allowing organisations to give something back to their local community. See also https://norwichfringeproject.wordpress.com/blog/
|Norwich (up to a 4 mile radius)|
|Plantation Garden Preservation Trust||website link||Preservation & restoration, as far as is practical, of a restored Victorian urban garden for the enjoyment of members and the general public. The garden is open 24/7 and entry is £2 with an honesty box provided.||Norwich|
|River Glaven Conservation Group||website link||The conservation and restoration of the River Glaven and it tributaries.||North Norfolk|
|Scarning Conservation Group||website link||Scarning Conservation Volunteers work in conjunction with Scarning Parish Council to improve the area of land between Scarning and Dereham known as Scarning Water Meadows. The aims are to (i) control the rank growth of weeds to enable natural water meadow plants the chance to flourish and (ii) to encourage wildlife by improving the habitat and (iii) to make the area a pleasant place for the recreational use of residents and visitors to Scarning.||Breckland|
|South Yare Wildlife Group||website link||The South Yare Wildlife Group is an open membership group organizing fun & engaging wildlife events, walks, talks & practical conservation tasks for all ages. Our objectives are: 1. To promote for the benefit of the public the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the South Yare area and 2. To advance the education of the public in the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the South Yare area.||South Norfolk|
|Southrepps Commons Trust||website link||We are the Registered Charity with whole responsibility for managing and maintaining the six areas of land which together make up 25 acres of Southrepps Commons. About half the site is “SSSI” which is managed according to a Natural England plan. Education is a twin aim which we pursue in conjunction with the neighbouring village school. All the work is undertaken voluntarily by the local community.||North Norfolk|
|St Seraphim's Trust||website link||The group's aim is to have a healing garden where people can sit, meditate or work, paint etc, a sacred space, with volunteers working in the garden to maintain it and to have various activities going on over the year where people can join in, such as art and craft. St Seraphim’s garden is now affiliated to the Quiet Garden movement, whose aim is spirituality and hospitality. Volunteers as 'Welcomers' to the garden are also welcome, to offer assistance and provide refreshments to visitors.||Broadland|
|Friends of Ted Ellis Trust||Website link||
Situated just east of Norwich, Wheatfen in Surlingham is one of the most significant and well-studied wetland nature reserves in Britain.
|Thetford Conservation Group||website link||Thetford Conservation Group aims to conserve wildlife habitats and improve public access to green spaces in and around Thetford. The group has recently created a new woodland walk, planted hundreds of trees around Thetford and cleared invasive birch from a local site of special scientific interest.||Breckland|
|Three Rivers Way Association||website link||The Three Rivers Way Association is a community group promoting the creation of a safe, pleasant route for walkers, cyclists and those with mobility problems linking four villages on the Northern Broads rivers. The route is known as the Three Rivers Way because it links villages situated on the thee Norfolk Broads rivers, the Bure, Ant and Thurne. Its aims are to make it easier for residents and visitors, including those with mobility problems, to get to local services, employment, schools, shops and facilities and help everyone get more exercise and to reduce the number of short car journeys. We also aim to improve tourism in the area and raise the local economic base.||North Norfolk|
|Toadwatch||website link||Help toads to get across roads when they are moving in and out of the breeding ponds in Febuary/March/April.||County-wide|
|UEA Volunteers||website link||At CareerCentral we work with a host of Charities and Social Enterprises who need volunteers. We have a free online platform where organisations can advertise their volunteering opportunities and raise their profile with UEA students and recent graduates. We support students to find volunteering opportunities in almost any field, be it part-time during studies or full-time during holiday periods and after graduation.||County-wide|
|West Norfolk Conservation Volunteers||We are a small group and our work is normally on the local nature reserves in the King's Lynn area.||King's Lynn & West Norfolk|
|Whitwell Common||To promote, for the benefit of the public, the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the wildlife of Whitwell Common, and access in accordance with the management of the SSSI.||Broadland|
|Wild About Colby (WAC)||Wild About Colby’s aims are to promote the protection, conservation and improvement of the landscape and natural environment of Colby & Banningham. We aim to undertake habitat conservation and creation projects to improve wildlife diversity and to undertake any necessary management of such projects. WAC also organises educational activities for the community with a conservation / environmental theme.||North Norfolk|
|Wymondham Nature Gorup (WyNG)||We are a local group of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and carry out education, public information, conservation, species surveying, fundraising on behalf of NWT according to their aims of protecting Norfolk’s wildlife and wild places. Our main conservation work sites at Lower Wood Ashwellthorpe NWT reserve and Tolls Meadow, a wet fen meadow for Wymondham Town Council.||South Norfolk|
|Yaxham Woodlands Group||To create a “string of pearls” in and around the parish of Yaxham, of managed woodland, meadow and wild spaces linked where possible by paths, open to and for the benefit of, the residents of the parish. Ultimately we aim to own and run our own woodland for the benefit of all residents. We believe a community grows strong when old people plant trees whose shade they will never sit in. Yaxham lacks woodland space which is accessible to all residents and local communities. This is an environmental project creating wildlife habitats, biodiversity, community spirit and pride in local surroundings.||Breckland|